Tiftarea graduates 38

May 17—TIFTON — Once upon a time, the Class of 2022 at Tiftarea Academy were kids who wanted 10 more minutes of recess, according to valedictorian Chandler Livingston.

"Now, they're graduates, ready to embark on the grand journey of this life."

Tiftarea graduated a class of 38 on May 13 with the ceremony taking place at Tifton's First Baptist Church.

Sarah Hutto delivered the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance before the formal welcome by Millie Powell.

Main speeches were by salutatorian Meredith Morgan and valedictorian Chandler Livingston. In between, Maggie Harris announced the senior gift to the school, a table cloth emblazoned with the school crest.

"As we step into this new chapter of our lives, we are faced with so many questions and uncertainties about what our future will hold," Morgan said.

She said she and many of her classmates were excited, yet nervous for the next few months. However, comfort, Harris said, came with the biblical verse Esther 4:14.

Though the future beckons, "It is important to talk about the past and the memories we have made," Morgan said. "After all, today is the last time we will be together in one place after spending nearly 14 years of our lives together."

Many of the memories for Morgan involved teachers.

"High school is over now and it's time for the big leagues," she said. Morgan said she knew everyone was looking for success but "each of us has a different perception on what success is." For herself, "success is learning to be uncomfortable in your situation because it means you will come out on the other side a better person."

Livingston began his speech quoting Mark Antony from "Julius Caesar."

"No longer will we be students at Tiftarea," he said, giving examples of the day-to-day life at the school that most had attended since they were in preschool. "As we transition to the next chapter of our lives, we will never forget the blessings we have learned during our time at TA."

Livingston compared their time together to being a family, that while they did not always get along, they would always be there for one another. His speech, too, was filled with memories. For those memories, he thanked parents, administration, coaches, guidance department and others who helped.

"Explore, dream, discover," Livingston said. He said they would regret any missed opportunities they did not take.

Following the salutatorian and valedictorian speeches, headmaster Stacey Bell presented Tiftarea's graduates.

Two video salutes were presented, one package memories of the year, the other being a tribute to each graduate's families. Whitney Hancock gave a speech in tribute to their parents before Dylan Harbort delivered a farewell address.

Cason Peavy led the Class of 2022 in moving their tassels with John O'Quinn leading the singing of the alma mater before giving the benediction.